The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

A Cynical Romantic

Valentine’s Day is here. In our house, however, it hasn’t been celebrated for 9 years, because my daughter, Meg, was born on this day, 8 years ago. Half an hour earlier and she’d have been a child of Friday 13th, but she hung on to make it in to Valentine’s Day. A true wee child of love.

To be honest, I’ve always struggled with the concept of the day anyway. About 10 or 11 years back, one of my stepdaughters had a magazine with one of these “How Romantic Are You?” quizzes in it, so as a bit of family fun we all did it.

It was one of these where if you answered mainly ‘A’s then you were a true romantic, in fact so bloody soppy that you really needed a bit of a reality check; mostly ‘B’s and you were pretty much normal; and ‘C’s meant you were a hard-hearted cynic of monstrous proportions.

What seemed initially odd, was that all my answers were split between ‘A’s and ‘C’s. I didn’t have a single ‘B’ on my score sheet.

I had to think about it for a while, but it did kind of make sense. On one level I am incredibly romantic, but I think all this “show your love with a card with a heart on it, or a single rose” is a complete load of bollocks.

I love my wife passionately. I will take her to dinner at any opportunity, I will buy her flowers, and I tell her how much I love her every day. But I don’t need some crass money-making commercial machine to allow me to express my feelings to her. I much prefer the fact that Valentine’s Day is now forever associated with my beautiful daughter rather than money-grabbing opportunism of the most contemptuous kind.

So yes, I am a cynical romantic, or a romantic cynic. Take your pick.


Binty McShae said...

Whichever... it's all cy-mantics anyway!

Kim Ayres said...


Binty McShae said...


LindyK said...

Nice, Binty. I agree, Kim, the overcommercialisation of one arbitrary day is silly... The people you love should know it every day, not just one day a year because Hallmark says so!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the day is rather overcommercialized I agree. I am sure your that anyone would appreciate small tokens of love throughout the year, rather than just on one day.

This morning I said to my girls "Hooray, tomorrow all the valentine candy will be 50% and we can all go out and pick our own treat". Yes, they looked back at me almost as if to say "mom, why do often celebrate a holiday the day after?" or maybe it was "our mother has truly lost her mind".

Either way there will be great sales tomorrow of course :)

Paste said...

It's a case of any opportunity to make some money. Fathers Day is the worst example to my mind and I speak as a Dad!

Kim Ayres said...

Lindy - It's certainly how I feel, but maybe I'm fortunate enough to get complacent, having been in a wonderful relationship for over 15 years

Rebecca - Now that is smart thinking. I do remember one year at Easter when, for a whole pile of reasons too long to go into now, my son got to buy Easter Eggs the day after, and was over the moon to find he could get twice as much chocolate for his money

Dave - welcome to my ramblings! Ah, but when it comes to father's day, I feel quite insistent that the wee ones should have saved up their pocket money all year to spend it on something just for me... ;)

Naomi said...

Happy belated birthday to Meg :-)

We haven't celebrated valentines day for the last few years and I agree completley that's it's yet another way for the card companies to make huge amounts of money, it's the little things you do throughout the year that really matter.

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Naomi :)

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